I've finally finished the DIY laptop case project that I'd been
working on, and moreover had the time to recover from it.
The plan was to create a fabric case for my ancient Macbook Air,
with the external cover using pinstripe fabric at an angle, and the
inside using a patchwork of Clarissa Hulse fabric.
Overall, I'm pretty happy about the result, although I'll admit the
quality of work's not great:
After comparing a few alternatives, the design I used came from here.
I decided on a plastic zip so as not to damage the notebook, and
learnt far too much about the varieties of zip design before promptly
forgetting it all. I decided to go for a nice chunky zip in bright
orange as a bit of a contrast to quiet pin-stripe.
Anyway, I was never going to produce a result as good as someone
with proper sewing experience, and as I'm making a one-off the lessons
I learnt are somewhat lost, but I really wanted to create my design
myself, and, well, it was an interesting learning experience. :)
Here are some things I learnt:
- Working with fabric is hard. Constructing something that's the
right shape from wood might be difficult, but when the material keeps
changing shape, scrunching up, stretching, etc., it's a right pain.
- Also, you're kind of expected to create more complex shapes - the
fabric will have changes of direction and rounded corners, whereas
with other materials you can just leave it all nice and square. In
short, smooth corners are hard.
- Clarissa Hulse fabric off-cuts patch-worked together produced the
effect I wanted. We considered the fabric for curtains, but big,
expensive silk curtains would have been destroyed by the children by
now, so not doing that was a good move.
- Chunky zips are a right pain. They want to lie flat. They
certainly don't want to be part of a 180 degree turn-around at the
edge of the case. They come with chunky strips of heavy-duty material
attached, in order to zip big, heavy things effectively, and that's
really bad for this kind of application. I trimmed off what I could,
especially at the ends, which helped somewhat.
- Don't let people close. The finishing, especially around the
corners of the zip, is bad.
Despite all that, it was a fun project.